Archive for the ‘OGS projects’ Category

Announcing the 2014 Mike Brede Essay Prize Winner

Friday, May 16th, 2014

The Ontario Genealogical Society is pleased to announce Chelsea Meloche as the winner of 2014 Mike Brede Genealogical Essay Prize. In addition to the $500 prize, Chelsea’s essay will also be featured in an upcoming issue of Families.

Here is an article from windsorite.ca covering the event: http://windsorite.ca/2014/05/local-student-wins-provincial-genealogy-essay-award/

Congratulations Chelsea!

Reminder: New Blog Category – Brickwalls

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Welcome to a new category for the OGS Blog: Brickwalls. The intent behind this is to offer the genealogical community a place to seek and offer assistance to those who have hit that inevitable and much dreaded brickwall. Please keep in mind that this is not intended – nor can it – function as a research service. If you require the services of a professional genealogist, your best bet is to visit the website for the Association of Professional Genealogists: http://www.apgen.org/resources/. The APG also has an Ontario chapter: http://ocapg.org/

Here’s how it works – aka, The House Rules:

  • If you have hit a brickwall, you may send a detailed, but brief, i.e. no more than 4 paragraphs, query to: blog[at]ogs.on.ca – please use Brickwall Query in the subject line of your message.
  • Once your query has been posted, anyone who believes they can offer assistance may contact you in one of two ways:
    • Include contact information in your query – Keep in mind though – this is a public site!!
    • Not comfortable with putting your info out there? No problem – folks can simply leave any info they may have in the comments sections of your post – you just have to remember to check the blog regularly to see if any comments have been left for you.

Please note: Submissions may be edited for length and the protection of personal information.

All comments are moderated before being made public

FYI: OGS Conference 2015

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

The OGS Board and Provincial Office proudly announce that Conference 2015 will take place June 5-7, 2015 at beautiful Georgian College in Barrie, ON.

More information and a Call for Speakers will follow shortly.

See you there!

URGENT:Province of Ontario Seeking Descendants of Those Buried in Barrack Hill Cemetery

Friday, March 7th, 2014

A forgotten burial site, The Barrack Hill Cemetery, located in Ottawa, has recently been unearthed, exposing human remains and some casket materials. The Province of Ontario is actively seeking the descendants of those buried here so that their remains may be relocated with respect and dignity.

Click here to read the full story from CBC News.

If you know or think you may have had ancestors in Ottawa between 1828 -1845, particularly Rideau Canal workers, that may have been buried in Barrack Hill Cemetery, then please contact the Ontario Registrar of Cemeteries, Michael D’Mello OR Corina Burnel, before March 21, 2014:

Ministry of Consumer Services

Registrar of Cemeteries

Toronto, Ontario

Tel: 416-326-8393

800-889-9768 ext 6-8393

Fax: 416-326-8406

Email: michael.d’mello@ontario.ca

Website: http://www.omba.com/contact_government.php

Canada Census Preservation and Accessibility

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

In December, OGS President, Shirley Sturdevant, sent a letter to the Head Statistician for Statistics Canada with concerns about the preservation and accessibility of Canadian censuses. A copy of this letter was also sent to Hervé Déry, Acting Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Library and Archives Canada.

A letter of response from Marc Hamel, Director General, Census or Population Program (c.c.: Hervé Déry) was recently received. In it he discusses the stringent quality control used in microfilming the censuses and the part played by Library and Archives Canada. At the time of the release of the 1921 Canada Census through Ancestry.ca, some members indicated that the surnames or even surnames and given names were cut off in images for some townships where they were seeking ancestors. Mr. Hamel explains that a random check was done to review the quality of the digitized images but, since no defect was located, asked that specifics be provided to further direct their investigation. OGS asks that those currently aware of such instances send specific details to president@ogs.on.ca so the facts can be gathered and sent in one message.

Please take time to read Mr. Hamel’s letter, which can be viewed at https://www.ogs.on.ca/home/advocacy.php#census, to learn about future plans for the preservation and release of census and the National Household Survey records for 2006 and beyond. Please note that third party information has been concealed and know that contact has been made with Library and Archives Canada on your behalf. See more below.

Also, be aware that, according to Mr. Hamel, the legislation governing the 92-year policy for releasing census information will be reviewed prior to the 2016 Census.

The Ontario Genealogical Society and the public-at-large need to consider all things related to the collection, preservation and release of census data in any form in order to be prepared for these discussions which will be debated in Parliament. Together, we must gather information and make informed recommendations. Together we must speak for those who will one day seek their ancestors as we have sought ours.

Fabien Lengellé, Director General Content Access Branch of LAC, explains that conditions and camera quality were less than perfect in the late 1950s when the census records to that date were microfilmed so it is not surprising that there might be errors. Their decisions for the 1921 census release will be the same for the 1931, 1941 and 1951 censuses. LAC views censuses as extremely important. They are trying to look at records being generated during our time and determine what people will want to see 100 years from now.

Commenting on the LAC decision to release the 1921 census through Ancestry, M. Lengellé, explained that Ancestry had 18 million visits to their site for those records almost immediately. The LAC site could never have handled that. LAC continues to work with a number of other companies to deliver information to researchers as quickly as possible.

OGS Polish Special Interest Group

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Are you interested in Polish Genealogy? Are you interested in Eastern European Genealogy? Are you interested in joining a special interest group specifically for Polish and/or Eastern European Genealogy? If you said “yes” to any of these questions, we are looking for you to help form a special interest group specifically for us. We feel we can learn much from each other and from those whose genealogical research and interest matches our own. How about you?

Anyone interested in joining the Polish or Eastern European SIG should email Kathleen LaBudie-Szakall at PolishSIG[@]ogs.on.ca

Those attending the OGS Conference will meet on Saturday, May 3, at noon in the cafeteria to discuss forming a Polish or Eastern European SIG. Or, I will be at the Bruce & Grey table the entire weekend. We hope you will join us at Brock University, St. Catharines.

OGS is now on OurDigitalWorld’s VITA Site!

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

What will you find there and what is so great about our new site? Our Book Catalogue and popular Cemetery Locator are both there. Although the layout is different from our previous catalogue, VITA actually allows us to include much more information that will make it much easier to explore our collections. What we are really excited about is that now we have the capability to do and post so much more, both within the Provincial Office Collection, for our Branches, and for the broader Genealogy and Heritage Communities.

Here are some of the NEW features you will find on our new VITA site:

  • Family Histories
    • You can now search our Family History Collection – and JUST our Family History Collection – no more trolling through the entire Book Catalogue when all you want is a Family History! We love this new feature and we think you will too!*
  • Periodicals
    • Our entire Periodical Collection is easier to search. We have now been able to provide more info for our Branch Newsletters, i.e., location information for branch libraries and contact information.
  • Mystery Photos
    • We have had Mystery Photos on our OGS Old Photos flickr site for a while. Now however, we can move them over to our new VITA site and have them all accessible in one place. The fun feature with this is that we can ask Mystery Questions – not only about our Mystery Photos – but about anything really! If you have any mystery/unidentified photos in your collection, you can send them – in electronic format – to: librarianATogs.on.ca –  we will add them to our Mystery Photos collection. Please provide as much info as you can for them.
  • WWI Memorial Wall
    • We have wanted to do something like this for a while now, we just lacked the proper vehicle with which to do it effectively. Now we have one. The call went out for submissions to our WWI Memorial project a few months ago, and we have very gratefully received some submissions. But we want more. If you have a WWI vet in your family and you would like to share their photo and a wee bit about them and their tour of service, please send it to – librarianATogs.on.ca. We would be honoured to include your WWI vet on our Memorial Wall.
  • Where are your Ontario Roots?
    • This is brand new for OGS, an interactive feature where you can share a bit of history about your family and your Ontario roots! You will find this located on the top right hand corner of the page.

Don’t forget to check out the right hand side of the page. Here you will find information About OGS, OGS Advocacy, Protecting Ontario’s Cemeteries, and a link to the OGS Niagara Conference 2014.

We are in the process of creating links to our new site on the OGS website. In the meantime, please click here to visit our new VITA site and browse the OGS Collections.

We would be remiss if we did not send out a huge Thank You to the staff at OurDigitalWorld, for making our migration over to VITA as painless as possible! This is still very much a work in progress with some tweaking to do and more fun features to include – so - Watch This Space! 

*Please be aware that OGS does not hold copyright on any of the Family Histories so the only way to access this collection is by visiting the Canadiana Department, North York Central Library. This is where the OGS Provincial Office library collection is located.

OGS Student Essay Awards Deadline Coming Soon!

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

The Dr. Don Brearley (high school) and Mike Brede (College/University) Essay Awards are offered every year with a deadline of April 1st. This deadline is coming up fast.

Please spread the word about these awards to the students in your life, and if you are a student, please consider entering these contests.

More information about our student essays can be found on the OGS Website:http://www.ogs.on.ca/home/essay.php and on their brand new Facebook page: OGS Student Family History Essay Contests 

Announcing the next installment in our Members only Genealogy Webinar Series

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Date: Tuesday March 4, 2014

Time: 7:00 pm

Speaker: Lisa Alzo

Storyboard Your Family History with Scrivener
Scrivener is a combination word processor and project management tool that’s affordable and simple to use. Learn how to set up your writing projects, how to use Scrivener‘s virtual “corkboard” to storyboard-visually plot out the story you want to tell, how to store notes, citations, images, and research materials, compile your finished draft for printing or exporting for final formatting, manage multiple projects, and much more!

Lisa Alzo has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1987 and a Master of Fine Arts in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. An avid genealogist for 22 years, Lisa teaches for Family Tree University and the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. She is the recipient of the 2002 Mary Zirin Prize given by the Association for Women in Slavic Studies to recognize the achievements of independent scholars. Lisa lives in Ithaca, New York.

OGS Webinars are offered using Adobe Connect software and all members are invited to attend for free. Access to the webinar is available from the OGS Members Only area.

The virtual room will be open 20 minutes before the webinar is scheduled to start.

Ontario Genealogical Society at a Crossroads

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

A Message from President Shirley Sturdevant

Over the last weeks, information has been distributed about the Society elections on May 3, 2014. Like many organizations, OGS finds itself at a crossroads. To be relevant in the future we need to understand not only who we have been and who we are, but who we need to be. We have been “Community, Education, and Advocacy” to serve our mission and objectives on behalf of our members and the broader genealogical community.

Now…The Society has a new governance model and seeks candidates for all positions – President, Vice-President and 4-6 Directors-at-Large. As President, I have spoken with many members, both veteran and new, and all have a desire to see a strong society taking us into the next era of genealogical service. Many are getting older or are already doing several jobs within the Branch, Special Interest Group (SIG) or Society. Others have already served in many ways throughout their membership. We are looking to new members to step up and take on roles, either within the Branch or SIG, or on the Society’s Board.

Many feel there are members who would be willing and capable of taking on these positions but are waiting to be asked. It is also a fact that the greater the numbers, the less likely someone is to volunteer, the assumption being that someone else will step forward.

Please consider yourself asked. 

Whether you have been a long-time or recent member, whether actively involved or “quiet”, please consider the skills and qualities you possess and the passion you have for helping your Society as we come to this crossroads in our history – our future.

We need members with skills in a variety of categories as outlined in the Call for Nominations found in the OGS Members Only area: https://www.ogs.on.ca/membersonly/mem_sign_in.php. No one candidate must be all things; each will bring his or her own unique skill(s). These will change over time as the needs of The Society change; new Directors in future years will bring new sets of skills. Over the long-term, OGS will stay strong and meet its mission:

To encourage, bring together and assist those interested in the pursuit of family history and to preserve our Ontario genealogical heritage. 

Please consider where you fit into our future. If there is a part you can play on the OGS Board, now is the time to step forward. If you see another whom you might replace within your Branch/SIG to allow them to step forward, think about doing so now. Let’s find motivated people who are passionate about OGS, prepared to use their skills on behalf of others, willing to bring fresh ideas and, most of all, prepared to work jointly as a Board to actively make these things happen on behalf of all members of The Society.

Our Society cannot continue to exist if there is no one to lead.

Yes, together we are at a crossroads. Together we must choose the right direction.

Together we are OGS!

Please see the OGS Members Only area: https://www.ogs.on.ca/membersonly/mem_sign_in.php for more details. Make arrangements for further discussion or to get answers to your questions by emailing: nominations@ogs.on.ca – or – president@ogs.on.ca.

Shirley L. Sturdevant, President 

The Ontario Genealogical Society 

Call for Candidates closes February 21, 2014.